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How heavy is too heavy to lift?

(25 Posts)
ParsleyCake Thu 13-Nov-14 16:02:07

I've taken the whole 'don't lift heavy things during pregnancy' with a pinch of salt, as I was reading a pregnancy book or two where comments were made along the lines of 'during my first pregnancy, I was barely allowed to lift a shopping bag, but by my third I could lug a sofa across the room without the hubby lifting an eyebrow'.

Now I would say that's a bit exaggerated, but that was sort of what I went by and I have therefore not been overly delicate with myself as I didn't want everyone to think I was milking this for all it was worth. I never lift anything that causes me to strain overly - so if I have to tense my tummy muscles a little, it's ok (think the weight of 4 2ltr coke bottles), but anything more I keep away from.

However I recently had a shopping bag snatched out of my hands with much scolding and now I am wondering if I have been being silly and risking my pregnancy. How heavy IS too heavy?

amandalk91 Thu 13-Nov-14 16:06:03

I'd like to know about this too actually, I'm only 10 weeks pregnant but I work in a busy off licence where I regularly need to lift crates and things, it'd be good to know what's okay or not!

PassTheCremeEggs Thu 13-Nov-14 16:06:22

Just be sensible - don't go heaving furniture around. Shopping is probably ok... Bear in mind if/when you have a second child that suddenly no one cares about you lugging a 2 stone toddler around...wink

ParsleyCake Thu 13-Nov-14 16:11:34

amandalk91 - lol, we have the same job! Thats why I was referring to the max amount of weight I allow myself to lift in 2ltr coke bottles!

foxyfemke Thu 13-Nov-14 16:14:56

If you have to heavy lifting for work, get a pregnancy risk assessment done, if you haven't had this done already.

pyrowall Thu 13-Nov-14 16:15:52

It depends what your risk assessment says...
There are no maximum weight limits

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 13-Nov-14 16:18:08

I asked my doctor about this, and as far as I remember the lifting thing is more about damage to you than the baby. Your ligaments loosen and your centre of gravity changes, you know your limits so work within them. As long as you are not straining, you will be fine.

amandalk91 Thu 13-Nov-14 16:19:46

Haha I sensed we had the same job actually. But I hate having to ask the other people I work with to lift crates for me I feel a bit pathetic. But if I lift things sometimes it does hurt my front and back a bit, didn't know whether to worry or not.

Newmom2b Thu 13-Nov-14 16:25:08

I'm 30 weeks pregnant and regularly carry around my Ds who weighs just over 2.5st!

ParsleyCake Thu 13-Nov-14 16:25:38

I will get a risk assessment done n the next few weeks as midwife said it was probably too early at 10 weeks to tell my boss based on what my job is. I am generally in charge of how much I lift as I fill the crates myself and to be honest it's not hard for me to work things so I end up only working on the till if need be (although sometimes I feel like standing for hours is worse!). I just wanted a guideline to work with, but I guess I'll just stick with not straining myself then as there seems to be no general guideline.

CherryLips1980 Thu 13-Nov-14 17:04:29

I work in an animal feed store so lift bags of up to 25kg. Before I was pregnant I would often carry 40kg out to customers, so when I was pregnant with DD I carried on lifting up to 25kg, but not stuff I had to bend down for. All was fine with me/pregnancy. I returned to work when she was 9 months old, was carrying 25kg again and got pregnant again straight away - I think I'd been back a couple of weeks when I got my BFP. So I've stuck to only lifting 25kg but being a little more careful about the bags I do get. Am now 17+2 and so far all is well this time too [touchwood].

What I'm trying to say (in a very roundabout way!) is, I think it depends on what your body is used to.

Dogsmom Thu 13-Nov-14 19:45:34

My midwife told me that lifting won't harm the baby but could be easier for me to strain a ligament, at work I often lift very wriggly, fat dogs weighing well over 30kg, the only things that's different is my bump making it a bit more awkward to stoop and then hold the dog close.

bonzo77 Thu 13-Nov-14 19:50:33

Stick with what feels comfortable, don't increase from what's currently comfortable and use good technique. In my first pregnancy I was mucking out horses (heavy wheelbarrow with 2 wheels) and carrying bales of straw and hay until 7 months . With my second I was carrying a toddler.

FrazzledFandango Thu 13-Nov-14 19:53:35

I was fine all the way up to 38 weeks when I lifted a bag of milk (probably about 10 pints worth) and something twanged in my pelvis.

I couldn't walk for four days after that so was really careful. I think you just have to be sensible.

Hedgehogging Thu 13-Nov-14 20:00:33

In normal life if you can't shove it along the ground with your foot it's too heavy. So I guess a bit lighter than that when upduffed??

Booboostoo Thu 13-Nov-14 20:37:04

During my first pregnancy I strained a ligament pushing a wheelbarrow full of water through a rutted field and I was in excruciating pain for the next four months. I was super cautious during my second pregnancy!

cheesecakemom Thu 13-Nov-14 20:52:27

I would be cautious in first tri! I had been lifting and carrying DD who is 3! I was told to stop especially with SPD - and pelvic pain.

HazleNutt Thu 13-Nov-14 21:37:21

as others have said, it's not about hurting the baby, but yourself. If you're careful with your movements and use good technique, no need to worry about a shopping bag. I was teaching body pump when pregnant, that's about 800 reps of lifting 10-30 kilos every single class.

TheScenicRoute Thu 13-Nov-14 22:58:25

I'd say nothing heavier than a baby, you'll be expecting to hold your newborn a lot very soon and you'll need the stamina and strength to do that. That said, I have no issue lifting my slim vacuum me cleaner downstairs... Yet 'feel' I'm over doing it by actually vaccing. Just listen to your body, but do keep your upper body strength up.

Vinylux Thu 13-Nov-14 23:36:29

Actually a large Danish study recently suggested a link between lifting and miscarriage -

So the "you won't hurt the baby" comments above aren't necessarily true and might falsely reassure people.

HazleNutt Fri 14-Nov-14 08:56:26

Before everybody panics, the study talks about lifting more than 20 kilo daily - not a shopping bag. It also found that if women were lifting more than 20 kilos daily, 4,1% of pregnancies resulted in miscarriage. If the didn't, 3,3% did.

Shelduck Fri 14-Nov-14 13:28:42

Also just want to add that you shouldn't every worry about people thinking you're milking it or being a bit pathetic. Fact is, you are a bit more delicate when you're pregnant so don't feel bad about taking it a bit more steady.

weebairn Fri 14-Nov-14 17:26:34

If you have a toddler you have to lift them. Mine was 12kg - she's on the small side… I drew the line at carrying her pushchair up to the flat when she was sleeping in it though, like I used to!

ILiveOnABuildsite Fri 14-Nov-14 17:35:15

I was just coming on to say what weebairn said. This is my second pregnancy and dd is three and ways more than 2st now. I got (and still get) a lot of comments about not lifting heavy things and not carrying dd around but reality is, she is my child and I have to carry her sometimes and yes she is heavy and yes it's more difficult to do now than it was before pregnancy but that's life. I know many women who have even older children (think 4-6) and even thought they are older now they still need lifting and carrying occasionally.

I think a bit of common sense required, ie don't pull the fridge out to sweep behind and be careful where you strain from when lifting/carrying heavier things but I'd say unless your buying concrete cement shopping bags are okay!

TheBooMonster Tue 18-Nov-14 14:47:15

I had a risk assessment done as soon as i found out i was pregnant, I was told no lifting or climbing ladders, no lifting mirrors, and my colleagues have taken to treating me with kid gloves anyway, they tend to get boxes and put them where a product is for me to empty, I have taken to reminding people I'm pregnant not terminal. However the store manager called me into he office to discuss a department move because by the third trimester I shouldn't climb and lift ladders, so even within the workplace the staff have different ideas on what I'm meant to be doing.

I've mostly gone with if it's heavier than my toddler (10kg) then I should probably avoid lifting it as my body isn't used to lifting stuff that heavy, but if it's less than her I'm used to that weight so may as well lift it.

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